Stranger Things 4 is officially happening. Duh. But there’s a twist!
Netflix confirmed today that it has renewed its tremendously popular sci-fi series for a fourth season, but the official announcement video plays the iconic Stranger Things theme before twisting into something dark and sinister—a vision of the upside down—that closes with the sound of a clock dinging and the words, “We’re not in Hawkins anymore.”
So, uh, is the Byers’ move permanent then? The show’s creators and showrunners The Duffer Brothers have maintained that Stranger Things will probably run only four or five seasons in length, depending on when/who you ask, so it’s possible we’re heading into the endgame now. But it’s interesting that this announcement teaser seems to be suggesting that the show will move out of Hawkins, Indiana—its iconic setting for three seasons—for its upcoming fourth season.
We know that Will (Noach Schnapp), Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), Joyce (Winona Ryder), and Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) moved out of Hawkins at the end of Stranger Things 3, following the “death” of Jim Hopper (David Harbour), and it very much looks like the show will follow them wherever they went when things pick back up.
Or perhaps this teaser is just being cheeky, and Stranger Things 4 will see the Byers return to Hawkins—possibly a significantly changed Hawkins? The post-credits scene for Stranger Things 3 teased someone (it’s Hopper) being held at a Russian prison where experiments were being conducted on a Demogorgan, so perhaps the “We’re not in Hawkins anymore” tagline is teasing a move to Russia for part of the season?
There are a number of possibilities for where things go from here, but after what I feel was the show’s best season yet, I’m excited to see how the Duffer Brothers start to wrap things up. Indeed, in addition to the Stranger Things renewal, Netflix announced today that they’ve signed the Duffer Brothers to an overall deal with the streaming service to create new films and TV series (reportedly worth a whopping nine figures), which suggests they aim to stay in business with the writers/directors once Stranger Things ends:
“The Duffer Brothers have captivated viewers around the world with Stranger Things and we’re thrilled to expand our relationship with them to bring their vivid imaginations to other film and series projects our members will love,” said Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer, Netflix. “We can’t wait to see what The Duffer Brothers have in store when they step outside the world of The Upside Down.”
“We are absolutely thrilled to continue our relationship with Netflix. Ted Sarandos, Cindy Holland, Brian Wright, and Matt Thunell took a huge chance on us and our show — and forever changed our lives. From our first pitch meeting to the release of Stranger Things 3, the entire team at Netflix has been nothing short of sensational, providing us with the kind of support, guidance, and creative freedom we always dreamed about. We can’t wait to tell many more stories together — beginning, of course, with a return trip to Hawkins!”
A Stranger Things 4 premiere date has not yet been announced, but it’ll likely be the latter part of 2020 or first quarter of 2021 if things remain on the same track they’ve taken in previous years.